Every shoe brand worth its name – from luxury to premium to mass – makes sneakers. So how do you ensure your shoe stands out in the clutter? One way is to acquire a pair from one of these super niche brands on your next trip abroad. A warning though: they may be as expensive as they are exclusive.

Filling Pieces
A relatively unknown brand from the Netherlands with some excellent quality leather and clean lines, their sneakers stand out for their minimalism.


Harry’s Of London
 If someone had told me once that old-time institutions and stalwarts would one day resort to the path of sneakers, I would not have believed them, but here it is. Expectedly, their shoes have class written all over them.


Fairtrade sneaks with organic materials (they even do vegan pairs) this brand is all about sustainability and accountability. Besides the comfort factor, their shoes thus serve a higher cause. My pick would be their V-12s.


Common Ground
Another millennial-appeal brand, making some really simple-looking shoes with mostly basic silhouettes, but going all out to ensure that only the best of raw materials go into making them. The brand speaks about addressing various social issues, and finding common ground to bring people together. But what I do admire is the names of their collections: gender, marriage equality, gun violence, immigration and so on.


Common Projects
The look is simple, but they are among the most comfortable shoes one can possess. Not to be confused with Common Ground (as I did.) A very easy-on-the-eye look in varying shades, from black to white and all the nuances of the rainbow in between. Definitely coveted and in demand.


Custom sneakers, these are pretty cool, allowing you to modify pretty much every aspect of your shoe to suit your quirks – from the uppers to the sole and inner lining colours, the colour of your laces to the hardware trims and adding initials.